Weighing in at 20000 lbs, “The Beast,” as the Presidential limousine is nicknamed, features a stretched Cadillac CT6 dress. The Beast is powered by a 6.6 litre Duramax diesel powered engine and is constructed with GM’s medium duty truck frame. Bullet proof glass, a satellite phone line to the Pentagon, another directly to the Vice-President and a three year build production schedule, comes with a price tag of $1.2 million. Let’s check out some of the James Bond DB5’s characteristics.
The Beast is equipped with a more-than-ample medical kit, including a refrigerator containing the President’s own blood type. The car is tightly sealed against biochemical attacks, and equipped with thick run-flat tires inside extra-large wheel wells to maintain drivability in an emergency. The Beast is equipped with a night vision system and can emit a smokescreen, fire tear gas, and an oil slick to put any nefarious vehicles chasing it out of commission.
The doors, which are as thick as the walls of a 747 jet plane, have no key holes, and only the Secret Service has the ability to open the them. Additionally, the handles can be electrified to shock any unwelcome interlopers who might attempt to enter into the seven passenger transporter. Lastly, the Beast is enabled with myriad communication technologies, including the ability to transmit the codes necessary to launch nuclear weapons. Of all the Beast’s features, these are the things that are known; because the vehicle is intended to protect one of the most valuable lives in our country, there are many things its construction that can not be made known to the public.
As for the drivers of the Beast, they are trained by the Secret Service and it is rumored the President himself has to take a practice run up to 50 m.p.h. in reverse. This kind of training ensures the Commander in Chief will not run the risk of remaining stationary in a stalled motorcade, if a driver has been taken out of commission. In a technique know as the “J hook,” the car can be backed up at high speeds, causing the vehicle to turn sharply and do a 180 degree turn around. A driving class I’d like to take!
All three U.S. automakers have had an opportunity to build Ground Force 1. Cadillac has been the chosen manufacturer of late. Unfortunately the public can’t purchase a retired Beast at local auction once it is out of commission. Instead, the car is subject to a firing squad as agents shoot the vehicle with bullets and explosives to demonstrate the effectiveness of its protective attributes and then succumbs to being crushed.
Jason Paynter is a classic car appraiser, collector and enthusiast. He is the author of the book, Drop, Throttle, Oversteer: Collecting & Investing in Classic Cars, and host of the Classic Car Corner podcast, on iTunes, Spotify and all your other favorite outlets. He lives in Louisville, KY with his beautiful wife and three sons who are (heaven help him) of driving age. Jason is also a certified appraiser and would be more than happy to assist in helping valuate your collection or answer any of your questions about cars. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.